Mark Jones
Road Test Editor
5 minute read
2 Jul 2014
12:40 pm

F-Type Coupe set to ruffle more feathers

Mark Jones

I want you to take a moment to think about where Jaguar was a few years ago in terms of the products they offered.

The cars were outdated and hardly exciting and they weren’t selling either. It really seemed like the end of the road for Jaguar.

Then the company was acquired by Tata and the pessimists really climbed in and predicted that this was the final nail in the premium coffin of the Jaguar brand. Now I ask you to take another moment and look where they are today and where they seem to be going.

It has been one serious turn around with their SA sales doubling since 2011 and the F-Type becoming the best selling open top sports car in the country with 75 percent of F-Type customers being new to the brand. And to really rub it in, Jaguar SA believe that just launched F-Type Coupe will outsell the hugely successfully Convertible two to one.

And this brings me to the F-Type Coupe. We were given a nice long run through rural KZN and a few nannied laps around the old historic Roy Hesketh circuit just outside Pietermaritzburg to get ourselves acquainted with this new offering.

Jaguar say the all-aluminium F-Type Coupe is the most dynamically capable, performance-focused sports car that Jaguar has ever produced and in simple terms I found this statement hard to fault. The car is stiffer, lighter and in the case of the monster R version, more powerful.

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This range-topping F-Type R Coupe is powered by Jaguar’s 5.0 litre supercharged V8 engine and sees 405kW of power and 680Nm of torque being produced and this is said to get the car to 100km/h in 4.2 seconds, and a electronically limited top speed of 300km/h.

I can tell you that when I tested the lesser powerful F-Type V8 S Convertible is ran low 4 second 0-100km/h passes and a top speed that went quite easily beyond 300km/h. I came away impressed, I can only imagine what sort of numbers this Coupe is going to do. I can say that for the money, you won’t buy a quicker Coupe in SA.

The F-Type R Coupe features a bespoke sports suspension set-up with Adaptive Dynamics damping and Configurable Dynamic Mode, a second-generation Electronic Active Differential (EAD) and, for the first time on a Jaguar, Torque Vectoring by braking.

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All these systems work to try and keep the 400 plus kW on the tar in a semi civilised fashion, and you and the car out of the bushes. It works with Dynamic Stability Control switched on, switch off the DSC and all hell breaks loose in clouds of black tyre smoke.

If there is a downside to this beast it is that on the limit you can feel the extra weight of the big V8 engine in the front of the car and turning it in sharply and quickly takes some practice and then some respect is required on exit to get it out in a straight line. But remember this is not a stripped out track car, it is a full house luxury coupe that will mostly be driven on the road. Even here though, respect is the name of the game again as the car, thanks to the diff and huge power, is quite lively on the open road. 

The F-Type S Coupe and F-Type Coupe are both powered by Jaguar’s 3.0 litre V6 supercharged petrol engine in 280kW / 460Nm and 250kW / 450Nm guise respectively. We only got to drive the F-Type S on the launch and this particular model impressed me most.

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Forget that Jaguar claim a 0-100km/h in 4.9 and 5.3 seconds and top speeds of 280 / 260km/h respectively in a straight line, which is pretty decent. The slightly lighter nose of the S made it easier to manhandle around a track and the mechanical diff as fitted to this car as standard was also a little more subdued over the bumps and stuff on the open road.

I can only say that I think most of the ladies and less crazy men will like the 250kW Coupe the most, the middle of the range Coupe S will be the outright pick across the board and the real men will revel in what the R offers. 

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All the models use Jaguar’s eight-speed close-ratio Quickshift transmission which is optimised for sporting performance, with full manual sequential control from the central SportShift selector or steering wheel-mounted paddles. So you can have your hardcore fun flipping up and down the rev range when you want and then when the fun is over you can slot it into drive auto and cruise around in a civilised fashion. 

Staying with the sporty stuff, on the R and S models you can opt for the Carbon Ceramic Matrix (CCM) brakes that see yellow monoblock callipers, six-piston at the front and four-piston at the rear, grip 398mm front and 380mm rear brake discs perfectly match the optional 20 inch ‘Gyrodyne’ wheels and ultra-high performance tyres which, with a unique tread pattern, offer additional steering precision, and increased levels of grip for the enthusiast driver.

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I am not going to waste your time on the interior details as like on all models in the F-Type range, the cabin is a good place to be and offers you everything your heart desires other as standard fitment or as an option. And trust me, think of a specification combination and you can have it with this car.

I am going to say even less about the styling, other than to say, just look at this Coupe, it is one sexy sports car that gets the business done.

Pricing:

F-Type 3.0 V6 Coupe – R843 404
F-Type 3.0 S V6 Coupe – R982 404
F-Type 5.0 V8 R Coupe – R1 534 189